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Avalanche buries 100 soldiers at Siachen, dead bodies being retrieved

ISLAMABAD: Rescuers have recovered some dead bodies of Pakistani soldiers, who were buried alive at the Siachen Glacier early Saturday, when an avalanche smashed into their camp, the military said.

At least 100 soldiers, including a colonel, belonging to the sixth Northern Light Infantry (NLI) were trapped under snow when an avalanche hit their camp in the Gayari sector of Siachen on the Himalayas.
Some dead bodies have been recovered by rescue teams, a statement released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said as troops with sniffer dogs, aided by helicopters, were frantically carrying out rescue operations.
A team of doctors and paramedics has also been rushed to the mountainous area, which suffers extreme weather conditions, a security official told AFP.
“More than 100 soldiers of NLI (Northern Light Infantry) including a colonel were trapped when the avalanche hit a military camp,” army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.
“The rescue mission is continuing and rescuers are trying to rescue the soldiers.”
A Pakistan military statement said the avalanche struck Saturday morning.
“Around 100 persons of army came under a snow slide early this morning in Gayari sector near Skardu,” it said.
“Rescue efforts are on. Sniffing dogs, helicopters and troops on ground are employed on rescue efforts,” the statement added.

State-run Pakistan television said rescuers were facing difficulties getting heavy machinery to the far-flung area. It also said the avalanche hit early in the morning, raising the possibility that soldiers were asleep at the time.

Avalanches and landslides frequently block roads and leave communities isolated in the mountains of Pakistan, neighbouring Afghanistan and in Kashmir, the Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan.

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